Simply known as Peng, the 42-year old admits he doesn’t know what to call himself. With no background in design or engineering, he doesn’t consider himself a craftsman, furniture designer or contractor, and actually runs a retail business. But nevertheless, he has been creating distinctive customised handcrafted industrial-style features for homes, offices, cafes and more. From built-in shelving and dividers to loose furniture and lighting, what started as a hobby has seen him completing over 400 projects since 2015!
What got you started making your designs?
It started as a hobby, making smaller pieces. I had built furniture for my office lounge, and friends, followed by friends of friends, liked it. So I started a Facebook page to reach out to more people, even though I actually had no intention of turning it into a business.
What materials do you use?
Galvanised steel sprinkler pipes and two types of timber — American white oak and reclaimed wood from old lorries. My family runs a business in sprinkler pipe installation, so I’m lucky to have this as a platform. Sometimes the pipes are spray painted and finished to look distressed. As for the timber, the wood is treated but not stained so it looks natural.
Tell me about your designs and inspirations.
They have an industrial-style look, but actually my style is not industrial and I much prefer oriental style! For shelving designs, other than attachments to walls, there are no screws or nails used to put them together. Just joinery techniques are used. Also, no welding is done for the pipes. I call it a marriage of the hardware, as everything has to fit perfectly.
What makes your work different?
As the industrial look is very popular and seen everywhere, I wanted to do it better. So I thought of integrating into the pieces other extra elements, such as lighting with a dimmer function, to make it more interesting. Also, as the pieces and designs are totally customised to each unique space, there are no repeats. As they are handcrafted, I can integrate workstations, extendible tables and more. I’ve even made a gate out of sprinkler pipes. The limitations are just no triangular or circular designs, because of the structure of the pipes.
How long does it take to make one?
It depends on complexity. For a table, up to seven days, and for a complete shelving system with accessories, up to two weeks. What has to be done for shelving designs is to get the set-up working — with all the wires hidden inside the pipes or through the timber — in the workshop, before dismantling and brining the components to the site to be put together again.
Find out more about Peng Handcrafted at www.peng.com.sg